Photo: Photo Illustration By Steve Kovach
Google’s Android Market may still be smaller than Apple’s App Store (for now), but that doesn’t mean you can’t get by. Most of the essentials are there.We love using Android, and there are a handful of special apps that dominate most of our time on our beloved Nexus S. Frankly, we’d be lost without them.
We compiled the list of the 10 Android apps we use every day and couldn’t get by without. Don’t even think about trying to take them away.
With a 3G connection and the Netflix app, we can stream thousands of movies and old TV shows right to our Android phone. It may have have taken Netflix a long time to finally bring its app to Android, but we're happy it did. The tablet version is pretty slick too.
Price: Free, but you'll need a subscription starting at $7.99 per month.
Amazon's Android Appstore may have fewer apps than the official Android Market, but it does have one huge advantage: Amazon offers a free premium app every day. That alone makes it worth checking once a day.
You have to download the Appstore directly from Amazon. Click here for instructions.
Dropbox is our favourite service for swapping files between our phone, tablet, and PC. The Android version has the added benefit of integrating directly with your phone so you can upload stuff to your account without opening the app. (See the picture for an example.)
Over the last year or so, Evernote has become the one app we depend on the most. It stores everything: Story ideas, notes, photos, even audio interviews. Evernote then syncs all that stuff to the cloud so you can access from any device. If you're not sold, click here to learn more about Evernote.
Google just launched its popular Chrome browser for Android phones and tablets. It's amazing. If you're already a Chrome user, all you have to do is sign in with your Google account and all your bookmarks, settings, tabs, etc. sync to your mobile device.
It also has some nice features for swiping between tabs and other design goodies.
Unfortunately, Chrome only works if your phone or tablet runs the latest version of Android called Ice Cream Sandwich. Right now there are only a handful of devices that do, including the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, and Asus Transformer Prime.
Google Music is a great deal. It lets you upload up to 20,000 songs to an online storage locker then stream them to your PC or mobile device. Its a great way to keep your collection backed up in case something goes wrong with your computer. On smartphones and tablets, you can 'pin' songs to your device so you can listen to them offline.
MOG, a streaming music service just like Spotify and Rhapsody, gives you unlimited access to millions of songs for $9.99 per month. It also has a handy radio feature that lets you control what kind of music you listen to. For example, you can program the radio to only play songs by a certain artist. That's a lot better than Pandora.
Price: Free, but you need to pay $9.99 per month for the service
If Seamless is available in your city, you're crazy if you don't use it to order food. All you do is create one account and you can order from any restaurant in Seamless' directory. And you don't even have to talk to a human to do it. It works like a dream.
Price: Free, but you'll probably be spending A LOT on food
After two years, we're still using Foursquare almost every day. By now, it's just a compulsion to check in whenever we go somewhere. We love seeing where our friends are, and it doesn't hurt that many venues offer specials and rewards for checking in.
The new version of Twitter for Android is almost unusable. It's super, super slow and just looks bad. We've been hunting around for a good alternative, but have yet to find one. Let us know in the comments if you have a suggestion.
By the way, Seesmic is a bit better, but we're still on the lookout for something else.
Price: Free, but we wouldn't download it if we were you.